Hello

“I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.” - HAL, 2001: A Space Odyssey

AI isn’t science fiction anymore. In fact, we believe it’s the most important tech for cities over the next decade. We already meet and invest in teams that are using AI for public safety, mobility, and utilities. We expect this to just grow as more developers learn how to use AI frameworks and tools.

We see many public benefits to AI, but society will have to make decisions about how to avoid some of its potential negative consequences. Some fear that the automation of key task will threaten economic opportunity. But what happens if your legal bot gives you poor advice or a first responder drone injures a pedestrian? How will we know if algorithms are unfairly flagging risky renters?

The 2016 AI100 report explored many of these themes and it inspired us to pull together some initial thoughts on AI and the city.

[Startup Candidate] MeWe is transforming compliance and quality assurance. Take a look. [members only]

[Startup Candidate] Urban Umbrella is helping businesses, landlords, and citizens with the first update in 50 years to the humble sidewalk shed. Take a look. [members only]

[Startup Candidate] GoKid is building a better way to organize kids’ carpools. Parents, please let us know what you think. [members only]

[Startup Candidate] Aerostate is bringing their weather-modeling expertise to build air-quality models for consumers, real estate firms, farmers, and city governments. Take a look. [members only]

[Elastic Buildings] Mobility tech and architecture. Parking operators are planning for the end of parking as they design new parking garages. HT David Gilford.

[Insights] New climate math.  A new report makes a case for stopping investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as new oil fields or new pipelines. It’s an interesting approach to ask investors to further query new funding requests for this type of infrastructure in the wake of COP21.

[Insights] How to raise trillions for green investments. We’ll need to mobilize $90 trillion over the next 15 years to meet climate goals. Hank Paulson explains how we can make it happen.

[Fundraising] Republic lets anyone invest in mission-driven startups. The site was founded by angel.co alumni who want support mission-driven startups and provide everyone access to startup investing. Here’s how it works.

[Opportunity] The Hub at GCT is now open for urbantech startups in NYC. Blocpower already moved in, and GCT is offering up to two months of free rent if you apply now.

[Opportunity] Startups working towards zero net energy - ProspectSV wants to work with you on two projects to deploy zero net energy products in retail and residential buildings in San Francisco. More here.  

[Opportunity] Selling to commercial architects? Here is great way to get noticed. The Architizer A+ Awards is now accepting entries.

[Regulators] The DOT self-driving policy shows how regulators can serve the public interest (with a heavy focus on safety) while encouraging the adoption of emerging tech. Vox discusses the new policy doc, and you can download the 116-page PDF.

[Communications] Getting press for your startup is a very helpful framework for getting beyond hiring a PR firm. (by YC’s Michael Siebel)

[Great Hack] How Vanmoof solved online bike sales. This may be our our favorite e-commerce insight of all time.  (Hint: They put flat-screen TV images on their packaging.) Here’s why.

[Insights] Affordable housing is getting some help from the White House in the form of a PDF toolkit that highlights the “actions that states and local jurisdictions have taken to promote healthy, responsive, affordable, high-opportunity housing markets”.

[Insights] EU VCs love mobility startups. Most of the top-funded startups focus on moving people or stuff. From CBInsights. EU investors are not alone. Uber was outraised in China and now Chinese investors have found a new mobility obsession. More from The Information.

Related: we recently helped select 20 exciting EU mobility startups to present at Autonomy.Paris.

We usually use this last section to share portfolio updates, but now that Urban.Us has invested in 23 companies, we figured it might be useful to do an update on all of them.

Have a great week.

- Shaun, Stonly, Mark, and Anthony

P.S. “Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans” - Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

P.P.S. “There has never been a better time in the whole history of the world to invent something. There has never been a better time with more opportunities, more openings, lower barriers, higher benefit/risk ratios, better returns, greater upside, than now. Right now, this minute. This is the time that folks in the future will look back at and say, ‘Oh to have been alive and well back then!’” - You Are Not Late, Kevin Kelly

P.P.S. Since we started with HAL, only makes sense that we close with a $#@%!ing interplanetary transport system! From SpaceX

Special thanks to Urban-X by Mini and HAX, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Amazon, IBM, Chicago Booth, and Autonomy.Paris for working with us to make the Urbantech ecosystem better.

Need more Urbantech? Founders are helping each other on Slack, and we syndicate investments on AngelList. Catch up on past updates here and follow us on Twitter

Did someone share this email with you? Apply to join us.